‘I don’t think anyone is doing it better’: Gov. DeWine visits local manufacturing facility

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In recognition of Manufacturing Day on Friday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine visited a manufacturing facility in Youngstown.

While in town, DeWine toured Taylor-Winfield Technologies. He’s also made stops at facilities in Toledo and Strongsville.

DeWine spent an hour in Youngstown seeing what he could do to help manufacturing. What he learned is that industries in Youngtown are taking care of themselves, saying, “I don’t think anyone is doing it better than you.”

One of the first people DeWine met at Youngstown’s Taylor-Winfield plant was Logan French, a senior at Beaver Local High School, who also attends the Columbiana Career and Technical Center.

French will be starting at Taylor-Winfield on October 11.

“I’m going to be an apprentice as a welder assembler,” French said.

French is an example of how the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition has worked to get young people interested in manufacturing work.

“Today we had a virtual storytelling that was all about manufacturing, and that was in partnership with the library,” said Jessica Borza, a member of the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition.

Everyone involved in a roundtable discussion with the governor praised the work of the coalition.

“The folks at Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, when I call Jessica, I text her, she’ll bring a crew of people down to help us host a career fair,” said Jeremy Corbisello from the Columbiana Career and Technical Center.

“Part of what the challenge is is how do we make that click? How do we reach kids in junior high so that they know this is what’s out here?” asked DeWine.

Patrick Callihan of Ellwood Aluminum in Hubbard says his company has invested to train its employees, even sending them to Youngstown State to become engineers.

“But there are a lot of other struggling companies in the area that could use these funds to develop these engineers, the maintenance, personnel, electricians, millwrights,” Callihan said.

Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber President Guy Coviello says last year the Mahoning Valley saw more economic investment than any other region in Ohio. But Coviello told the governor there’s one thing that keeps him up at night.

“Every day for the last 10 years we’ve lost a net five people. So that decline in population and increase in job growth are very scary intersecting points for us,” Coviello said.

Coviello added that parents in the Mahoning Valley have to quit telling their kids to leave here to go get a job somewhere else. He says this is a good place to get a job, raise a family and have a good quality of life.

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